The problem solver with no problems

The Boyfriend Candidate is starting to unnerve me. And it boils down to this: he is a problem solver and I really don't have problems for him to solve. There was a time when I was a walking problem factory. Those days are gone and what's left is your garden variety, typical functioning single mom. There are all the typical things, but nothing extraordinary and nothing I can't handle. Alone. By myself. With absolute confidence.

So a few days ago I had a rough morning with my boys. The kind of morning that makes one question the whole idea of motherhood. Like maybe it's a cruel joke or some kind of perseverance test. I gingerly, with apprehension, mention this to the BC. I want to talk about my feelings. And he says to me, with sincere earnestness, "Well, it's not surprising. Your life is shit. Your husband dumped you, took all the money, ran up your credit cards, you've got no help, your parents won't even consider a move out here. You are alone. You have no one. And those boys know they outnumber you. They know you have no power. Of course you feel that way."

Huh? I sat there in dumbfounded silence wondering how he thought this was helpful at all. I've never considered myself some powerless victim.

And then he tried to solve my problem. The problem he made up, defined, and identified.

"What you need are better parenting techniques." Then this man with zero children told me all about parenting techniques. I appreciate that he wants to be in, but he went on to talk about things that are discussed in Kindergarten orientation and well baby visits. It's old news for a veteran mom. He just didn't know it.

And my feelings were shelved. I realized then that I almost never get what I need from this man. He's a wonderful man, but he hands me a chainsaw when I need a band-aid. It's interesting, the rush to solve a problem that doesn't exist, all the while an opportunity for intimacy is waiting. Let's talk about my vulnerability and disappointment. Nope, instead, let's solve a problem because that is where the comfort level is.

Any way, I don't really know where I'm going with this except to say that men do it often and they miss opportunities. Try every now and then to set aside the instinct to resolve. The ideal response from the BC would have been something like "You're feeling under-appreciated. I appreciate you and one day your kids will too." The end. It could have been a heroic moment.


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